Soccer's all the craze in Canada these days, so it's no surprise to see Ottawa added to the list of Canadian cities considering a bid for a Major League Soccer franchise. In the light of Toronto FC's popularity and the healthy attendances at last year's U-20 World Cup, Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk "is exploring the possibility of acquiring an MLS club," writes Hugh Adami.
With Montreal having built a new soccer stadium, and with one in the works in Vancouver, Ottawa might consider overhauling rundown Frank Clair Stadium for soccer purposes. "Melnyk, who met with MLS president Mark Abbott last week in Toronto," writes Adami, "is eyeing 2010 as the inaugural season for an MLS team here." But that would likely be too ambitious given that the 14-team league has already awarded franchises to Seattle for 2009 and Philadelphia for 2010.
"Melnyk's interest in bringing MLS to Ottawa may have more to do with a revamped or new Frank Clair Stadium -- some say it should be razed and rebuilt because it's a dump -- in order to expand his entertainment empire beyond [Ottawan concert venue] Scotiabank Place." MLS wouldn't say where Ottawa stands on its future franchise radar, only that the league is "constantly reviewing" expansion plans across North America.